Thokozile Matilda Masipa

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Thokozile Matilda Masipa

Birthplace: South Africa
Immediate Family:

Wife of Private

Occupation: Judge in the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa
Managed by: Sharon Doubell
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • Private

About Thokozile Matilda Masipa

Thokozile Masipa

The Honourable Thokozile Masipa Judge in the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa Incumbent

Assumed office1 December 1998

Nominated by Judicial Service Commission

Appointed by President Nelson Mandela

Personal details

Born 16 October 1947 (age 66) Soweto, South Africa

Spouse(s) Makhutla Wilson Masipa[1]

Children 2[2]

Alma mater University of South Africa

Occupation Judge

Profession Jurist

Thokozile Matilda Masipa (born 16 October 1947) is a judge in the Gauteng Division of the High Court of South Africa.[3]

Early life and education[edit] Masipa was born in 1947 in Soweto, Johannesburg. After ma­triculating from Immaculata High School in the Alexandra township in 1966, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree specialising in Social Work in 1974 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1990 from the University of South Africa. She was admitted as an advocate in 1991.[1]

Career In the past, people would stay away from the court and rather sort things out themselves. Now they see black people and women on the Bench and they say maybe, if you want justice, the high court is where you go.

Prior to her law career, Masipa worked as a social worker and as a crime reporter, which led to her interest in law. She worked for The World, Post and The Sowetan newspapers and edited the Queen women's supplement of Pace magazine.[5][6][7][8]

In 1998, she was appointed as a judge in the Transvaal Provincial Division (as it was then known) of the High Court of South Africa,[1][9][10] becoming the second black woman to be appointed as a judge in the High Court after Lucy Mailula, who was appointed to the Transvaal Provincial Division of the Supreme Court (as it was then known) in 1995.[11][12][13][14] Masipa has also served in Gauteng's consumer court tribunal,[15] the Estate Agents Board,[16] and the Electoral Court of South Africa.[17][18]

In a 2003 interview with the Judicial Service Commission, Masipa supported greater transparency and interaction with the media to aid the public's understanding of the judicial process.[19] She is one of the seven female South African judges featured in Courting Justice, a 2008 documentary film directed by Jane Lipman.[4][20]

Notable judgements[edit] Masipa contributed to case law on the constitutional duties of local government related to housing in her 2009 ruling on Blue Moonlight Properties v Occupiers of Saratoga Avenue.[7]

The State vs Oscar Pistorius Masipa is the presiding judge in the trial of Oscar Pistorius for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp and several gun-related charges which commenced in the High Court in Pretoria on 3 March 2014.[7][21] She appointed two assessors to assist her in the trial.[22] According to the spokesperson for the South African judiciary, she was not specially assigned to the case because of her gender.[23][24] Following her assignment to the high-profile case, her colleagues reportedly described her as respected, competent, eloquent, and reserved.[7][25]

Thokozile Matilda Masipa

Judge for the Gauteng High Court

Born 16-10-1947

Thokozile Masipa is a Judge at the Johannesburg Division for the Gauteng High Court. She was a crime reporter whose stories often told of the indignities of life under apartheid and went on to become an advocate in her late forties. Masipa became the second black woman admitted to the Bench in South Africa.

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Thokozile Matilda Masipa's Timeline

October 16, 1947
South Africa